We're not going to get overly dramatic and declare the 'DayZ' of traditional publishing dead, but certainly the zombie title that started off as a mod for Arma II is proving wrong the naysayers of the early access sales model. After just four weeks, developer Dean "Rocket" Hall took to Twitter to announce sales of 1 million copies of DayZ in only 4 weeks.
At $29.99 a pop, the Rocket man and his development team have earned just shy of $30 million. Part of that goes to Valve while the rest ensures there's plenty of loot to continue fleshing out the unfinished title. It also serves as further proof that PC gaming is alive and well, in case that was ever in doubt.
Well, 1 million copies in 4 weeks. So much for the death of PC Gaming. #DayZDaily
Hall told Polygon in an email that he and his team are simply "blown away" by DayZ's success. There was never any doubt about there being "strong interest in the concept," however it's always hard to tell if hype will translate into actual sales.
"I remember when we finally pushed the button, I had this moment of panic when I wondered if many people would really buy it," Hall said.
What makes DayZ unique is that the game isn't finished yet. Gamers are asked to pony up in advance, which affords them early access, as well as voice in the game's development. One way to look at it is that you're paying to be a beta tester, or in this case an alpha tester, though you also have access to the finished product.
DayZ isn't expected to reach beta status before 2015. Bohemia Interactive has been very upfront about the fact that DayZ is far from a finished product, but that hasn't stopped gamers from coming in droves. The title sold 172,500 copies in the first 24 hours of availability, adding up to over $5.17 million in first-day sales.